Understanding RTP (Return to Player) in Online Slots

Updated: 13 Feb 2023

understanding rtp

There’s a special quality about online slot games that enable them to appeal to players on many different levels. In fact, slots are so popular that they are the world’s favourite online casino game. However, everyone has their own particular view of them. Some players use them to build an online gambling bankroll. Others simply enjoy having some entertaining fun in the escapist fantasies that slot games create so successfully. But whether you’re playing for hard cash or spinning the reels for free at a new online casino that operates a no deposit bonus, the most important statistic is the RTP.

What is Slot Game RTP?

RTP stands for Return To Player. It’s a unit of measurement that is always displayed as a percentage. Basically, it refers to the amount of money a player can probably expect to receive back from the total amount that has been wagered. However, due to the unpredictable path that random and probability often take, it is a figure that usually only balances out after a reasonably long period of time.

How is RTP Calculated?

RTP can be loosely described as a comparison between the amount of money paid out and the amount that’s been paid in. A straightforward percentage calculation is used to determine the RTP of a slot game. The mathematical formula starts with 100 divided by the total money spent and the answer is then multiplied by the money received. As an example, a player may place bets with a total of £50.00 and win back £47.50. Using the formula above this is written thus:

(100/50.00) x 47.50

= 2 x 47.50

= 95

Therefore, the RTP is 95%.

How Does the House Edge Relate to RTP?

Occasionally, slot game reviews refer to the House Edge rather than the RTP. The House Edge is the portion of every player’s total stake that the online casino retains in order to maintain its overheads and make an operating profit. In effect, the House Edge and the RTP are like two sides of the same coin. Add them together and they make 100%. Therefore, if the House Edge is described a 3% simply subtract it from 100% and the answer of 97% represents the RTP.

How Trustworthy are RTP Ratings?

Fruit machines in land-based casinos are manually checked by auditors on a regular basis to ensure their RTP claims are being honestly maintained. Long ago regulatory authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission introduced a strict code of conduct to protect players at online casinos from fraudulent activity. Independent auditors from associations such as eCogra (e-Commerce Online Games Regulation and Assurance) regularly check the results from around one million spins on each game to verify the RTP. You’ll enjoy your free spins at a no deposit casino even more if you check the site is properly accredited.

Which Slot Games Have the Highest RTP and also offer Free Spins?

The more familiar five by three grid appears in enthralling games such as Dead or Alive 2 from NetEnt, which has a Wild West theme and a 96.82% RTP. Immortal Romance from Microgaming is packed with free spins and multipliers and has a 96.86% RTP. More typical RTP ratings of 95% and 96% can be found in the majority of popular slot games. NetEnt’s Gonzo’s Quest with a 96% RTP follows the adventures of the fifteenth century Conquistador, Gonzalo Pizarro. As he battles free spins and cascading reels, players are often rewarded with exceptionally large wins. Book of Oz from Microgaming is rated at 96.50% and presents masses of lucrative free spins. Pragmatic Play’s Wolf Gold, is noted for high payouts from a 96% RTP. Choosing a game with the highest RTP doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best payouts as much depends on its variance.

How Does Variance Affect RTP?

Games with a low variance pay out little and often – see the differences between high and low variance slots. Players typically enjoy a long playing time as the money spent on bets is constantly replenished. High variance pays large rewards, but it can often take more spins to secure a spectacular windfall. A medium variance presents moderate prizes fairly regularly. A game with a 96% RTP and low variance will provide excitement with plenty of small wins. However, the same RTP with a high variance is full of thrilling suspense as you wait for a mega-sized payout.

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